Jan 15, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum (3) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (17) and point guard Jarrett Jack (1) at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers hold post-game practice session following tough loss

It was easy to question the Cleveland Cavaliers (14-25) effort earlier in the season when former center Andrew Bynum was in the middle of the starting roster. But, following a demoralizing loss against the Detroit Pistons a few weeks back at Quicken Loans Arena, I decided to change my mind on how hard this team was trying to be better than their record indicated. And this was following an 0 of 11 night from Bynum himself, who would–a couple of weeks after–be ultimately benched by the Wine & Gold and subsequently sent over to the Chicago Bulls in a trade involving Luol Deng. The reasoning for this change of heart? Scroll down to the Roster Analysis from this post to see why.

In case you didn’t click, the specific part of this post I’m referring to is when starting shooting guard C.J. Miles stayed after the game at the Q to shoot three-pointers and practice his free throw shooting. Beforehand, I was going to bash Miles for his play in the game against Detroit, but proving that he cares about the current state of the team like he did a few weeks back made me change my mind in my roster analysis. Miles is an extremely hard worker, and, as of late, the extra hours he has put in have been displayed on the court. Apparently his attitude has rubbed off on his teammates, and it was showcased at the Moda Center on Wednesday night after the Cavaliers gave up 12 straight points to the Portland Trail Blazers in a losing effort.

For a team that just went through one of their many hard-fought losses during the 2013-14 season, you wouldn’t expect to see a group of players from said squad practicing on the opponent’s court post-game. But, in fact, that was the case with some of the Cavaliers after a 108-96 loss against the Trail Blazers on their fourth game of a five-game road trip. Also, this was the second road game of a back-to-back following a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers. As documented on Twitter, a handful of hardworking Clevelanders stayed afterward to practice despite having another away game on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron-Beacon Journal and Trail Blazers TV host Sarah Hecht both had multiple things to say about the team’s after-game practice session:

To be clear, it’s not the whole team. Jack, Miles and two others. Jack is working it on D though.

— Sarah Hecht (@sarahhechtNBA) January 16, 2014

Never seen guys practice postgame before. After a B2B. Pretty wild. pic.twitter.com/aSmIczpR87

— Sarah Hecht (@sarahhechtNBA) January 16, 2014

I wanted to make sure this was well-documented because someone deserves credit for these guys being out on the court after an exhausting loss on the road to the second-best team in the Western Conference. Hats off to those that stayed after to polish their game and to the assistants that stayed after with the players. Also, it’s not said whether or not a veteran voice in the locker room had something to do with the team’s extra practice session, but maybe the leadership of Deng is proving to be more than we traded for a little over a week ago.

Because of the work put in after the game, this makes the loss taste not so bitter.

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Tags: Alonzo Gee C.J. Miles Cleveland Cavaliers Earl Clark Jarrett Jack

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